Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Blow

Antarctic weather has a lot of its own definitions, unique to the region. For the last five days, we’ve experienced a ‘blow’. This blow has brought easterly winds of about 30 knots, whipping up so much snow that visibility is reduced to a few hundred meters. There is absolutely no contrast, which coupled with the constantly moving snowdrifts makes getting about difficult as what was an easy path on the way to work might be covered in invisible drifts on the way back. Such a rouge drift caught me out again today, landing me on my bum on the way back from checking the Stephenson screen!

The Laws Platform through the snow

In a blow there are no natural features, no definitions on the ground and not even a horizon. The only way I can think to describe it is by taking a sheet of clean A4 paper and holding it against your face whilst looking at a bright light. If you’re reading this on company time, go try it over by the printer! Go on. Do it…

Handlines leading to work

So we don’t get lost, hand-lines run from one building to the other. I wouldn’t fancy my chances of guessing my bearings without them.


Anonymous Skinny D said...

Hi Dave, are there any contingencies against people getting lost other than the guidelines. I'm figuring getting lost in ones parka on the ice cap in a 30knt wind is going to be fatal in a fairly short time period?

Do you carry radios or have to sign in or out? What sort of clothing do you wear on your "commute" to work?

Cheers, Skinny

9:26 am GMT  
Anonymous Ben Eldon said...

And why didn't you spot a rouge snowdrift, come to think of it where does the makeup come from?

Ah the joys of pedantism!


12:05 pm GMT  

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